IT’S NOT SO DUCKY!
This week we travel to Australia to talk a bit about a duck that seems to have given rise to a controversy. Although according to Australians, the Freckled Duck is one of the rarest duck species, it is not considered endangered or even vulnerable according to the IUCN*.
This conflict comes about because the Freckled Duck is considered vulnerable by biologists in New South Wales, Australia. Regardless of the bird’s status, it’s always wonderful to meet and talk about an unusual animal. So let’s get started.
Meet the Freckled Duck!
Photo credit: Hunter Wetlands Centre, Australia
This water fowl has an extensive range, as you can see from the below map. However, the larger populations are located in the south eastern portion of the country.
The Freckled Duck population is estimated to be about 11,000 to 26,000. They live in wetlands and swamps. One of their greatest threats is the redirection of water by humans, thus affecting the habitat in which the bird lives.
An interesting feature of the male is that the the base of the male’s bill turns red during mating season, as you see in the above picture.
The bird feeds at dawn, dusk and sometimes at night. Its favorite meals are algae, seeds and aquatic grasses. It will also eat the occasional small invertebrate. An adult Freckled Duck will weigh approximately two pounds, and grow to a length of about twenty-four inches.
Photo credit: Graeme Chapman- AU
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
I have found a wonderful video, produced in Australia, which goes to great lengths to describe this duck. The main reason for this explicit description is to aid hunters in identifying the Freckled Duck, which in turn will ensure the duck’s survival.
If you would like to learn more about this unusual duck, visit any of the following sites.
Thank you so much for stopping by, and please feel free to leave a comment. It’s always good to hear from you.
*IUCN = International Union for Conservation of Nature
Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza and The Gift of Sunderland
Middle-Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!